How long do ants live
Did you know that bees and wasps are sort of related to ants? The cinched waists should be a dead giveaway but since wasps and bees fly and ants don’t it can be hard to make the correlation. Like their flying cousins, ants are eusocial insect meaning that they live in a colony with a queen. They belong to the order Hymenoptera and the family fomicidae.
There are more than 10,000 species of ants all around the world and they are prevalent in tropical climates especially in the forested areas where they make up more than half the insect populations.
The life cycle of ants
Ants are among the species of insects that undergo a complete metamorphosis. They go through four life stages namely the egg, larvae, pupae and adult. Unlike other insects they do not molt multiple times instead emerging out of each stage fully developed and ready for the next one.
The eggs are laid by the female and are white in color and soft to touch. These eggs are super tiny and typically look like a period used to denote the end of a sentence. The eggs that hatch first will feed on the remaining eggs for extra nourishment even as they go into the larvae stage. The larvae of the ant looks worm like and it eats a lot to grow into the pupae stage. As a result the adult worker ants are kept busy finding food for them to nourish their growing bodies.
When the larvae have grown to the correct size they metamorphosis into pupae during which they rest and develop undisturbed by the rest of the colony. The pupae look like an adult only their legs and antennae are still folded. At the beginning of the pupal stage they appear white but as they develop into adults they begin to acquire the darker hues of ants. Some pupae will build a cocoon around themselves at this time to keep their development undisturbed and also to protect themselves against predators. But this is not a requirement across species.
When they finally appear out of the cocoonthey may still be smaller in size. Their exoskeletons are completely strong like the adults and they are ready to get down to their role which is either worker, male or queen.This process is likely to take a few weeks to months depending on the species of the ant. This part makes up a small part of the life span of an ant.
How long do they live
This also depends on the species. The black garden ant can live as long as a teenager reaching 15 years of age. But other species will only last as long as four months to one year. Factors like availability of food and lack of predators are huge determining factors in how long the ant will live.